With expansion of autonomous vehicles, we can expect that stores in the city centers will again gain more customers, suburbs will become more popular and number of parking spaces in the city center will decline.

Autonomous vehicle (AV) does not necessarily mean that the vehicle is »driverless« and to some point some vehicles may still require human driver, but with more and more automated driving tasks, vehicle to vehicle communication and sharing data human error can be minimized, which is responsible for over 90 % of crashes. Nevertheless, autonomous vehicles are not expected before 2030 – 2040, hearsays counselling company Cushman & Wakefield.


Architects, urbanist and as well real estate market will have to adjust to the upcoming changes in the field of mobility of inhabitants. All the services, which will improve mobility, will be lead through joint mobile platform or application.


First of all AV will be used for transporting goods to home. Furthermore because of cheaper transport and more available parking spaces shopping malls in the city centers can become more popular and visited as well by elderly and disabled people.



Rethinking distance and bigger popularity of suburbs

Location in a connection with accessibility, proximity and connectivity is the most important factor in the real estate market. With development of AV commuting and transporting goods real estate market will change.


Commuting and transporting good will become cheaper and more effective, the crowd on the roads and traffic jams will reduce and life on the edge of the cities can become more attractive.  The importance of location and proximity to the city center, which is a very significant factor in urban planning, will decrease. Altogether, the difference between property prices on the suburbs and in the city center will become smaller.


City centers and the importance of parking spaces of commercial premises

According to the study by Cushman & Wakefield AV in the city centers will be used together with ridesharing and  driverless shuttle buses; which means that city center will have to be adjusted to the more rent-out vehicle services.


Bigger companies usually avoid commercial building in the city center, because they do not ensure enough parking spaces for the employees and client; on the other hand firm also avoid renting or purchasing commercial premises on the edge of the city, because the access to the center is more difficult. The solution therefore lies in faster and cheaper public transport together with a possibility car share, rent out or to use AV.  Consequently number of parking spaces in proximity to the city center will not play that big of a role in renting or purchasing commercial real estates.



Reducing number of parking spaces

With the usage of AV the number of parking spaces can reduce, hence the plots could be used for other purposes, new building and logistics. For how much exactly the number of parking spaces will decrease it is difficult to predict, because it depends on multiple factors for example: location, the number of users of AV in end users need, ownership and management.  


In the next years AV will be used mostly for the last part of the journey in the sense that driver will come to the edge of the city and continue to the center with other commuter with AV.


Innovative approach to this subject took a residential developer Moda in Manchester. He connected with car sharing service Uber   and offered to the future residents 110 EUR per month, if they are prepared to purchase an apartment without parking space and use Uber for commuting and other transport. Parking spaces which would be used for residents, can be than redesigned into other infrastructure.



Vir: Cushman & Wakefield, Finance

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